- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A New York City judge told a convicted felon Tuesday that “black lives don’t matter to black people with guns” before sentencing him to 24 to 26 years in prison.

“Black lives matter,” Justice Edward McLaughlin told 24-year-old Tareek Arnold as he sentenced him in Manhattan Supreme Court, the New York Post reported.

“I have heard it, I know it, but the sad fact is in this courtroom, so often what happens is manifestations of the fact that black lives don’t matter to black people with guns,” the judge said.

Arnold, who is black, was convicted for the attempted murder of Jamal McCaskill, also black, after shooting him four times at close range on June 8. Arnold, who authorities say was a member of a gang called Forty Wolves, later escaped from police custody with his hands cuffed behind his back and remained on the lam for almost a month. The jury also convicted him of escape, gun possession and assault, the Post reported.

Prosecutor Meghan Hast asked for the maximum sentence, arguing that “but for extreme luck, this would have been a homicide,” the Post reported.

Defense lawyer Mark Jankowitz requested the minimum sentence of 10 years, arguing that Arnold’s 1-year-old son would be without a father.

“Do not ask a judge in this room, in this building, or in this system to somehow make amends for the people who commit violent acts and who by their violent acts wind up leaving people orphaned, abandoned, fatherless, etc,” Justice McLaughlin said.

Arnold had been arrested five times before. He was convicted in 2008 on weapons possession charges and was sentenced to five years in state prison, the Post reported.

Judge McLaughlin has been very outspoken against gun violence in Harlem.

“Only Harlem can save Harlem,” he said in 2011, the Post reported. “If Harlem’s leaders are at all sick of ‘the pools of blood on the block,’ they must mobilize their neighbors to find and get rid of the guns in their homes.”

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